Ten ways to achieve positive mental health and emotional well being - Philippians 4

September 19, 2017

 

Q. Is there a difference between mental health and illness?

 

Below are ideas developed by Corey Keyes on Flourishing and Languishing 

Flourishing:

  • A state where people experience positive emotions and positive social functioning

  • They are mostly happy and engaged 

  • Life feels good and has meaning 

  • Includes a life of positive well being, growth and resilience

Languishing 

  • Opposite to flourishing 

  • When we are living a life that feels hollow and empty. 

  • We lack purpose and can't see the meaning or point of our life

  • We get stuck as a caterpillar and are unable to grow 

Flourishing and languishing grid

  • Can have diagnosed illness and still be happy

  • No diagnosed illness but unhealthy and disconnected and discontented 

Read V1

Q. What does"stand firm in the Lord" mean?

  • Links to Phil 3:20-21 remembering we have our citizenship in heaven

  • Standing fast/firm = Remembering the earth is not our home 

  • Keeping our eyes on Jesus like Peter walking on the water 

  • Resisting temptation, false teaching and persecution (not giving in to the devil) staying focused on Jesus 

  • Persevering in the faith when tested 

Read V2 -3

Q. What does"Be of the same mind in Lord" mean?

  • Agree in the Lord and work in harmony 

  • Make amends and help others to do the same 

  • Mend broken relationships 

  • Be a minister of reconciliation 

  • Supporting each other to keep cooperating 

  • Paul encourages them through complimenting their ministry and service

  • Leadership approach: Paul is ministering through encouragement rather than condemnation. 

  • Jesus did that with those who were humble and who He knew we're ready and willing to change. 

 

Read V4-6 

V4 

Q. What does"Rejoice in the Lord" mean?

  • Rejoice (delight and take pleasure, be joyful)

  • Irony = he was in prison 

  • Our inner attitude does not need to reflect our outward circumstances 

  • Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, 

  • The quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright,

  • The determined choice to praise God in every situation.

  • Paul was joyful because He knew God was with Him and on His side regardless 

  • Joy happens when we change our perspective 

 

V5

Q. What does"Gentle spirit" mean?

  • You're graciousness, compassionate, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience be known to all people)

  • Galatians; fruit of spirit 

  • Gentleness, also translated “meekness,” does not mean weakness. 

  • Rather, it involves humility and thankfulness towards God, and polite, restrained behavior toward others. 

  • The opposites of gentleness are anger, aggression a desire for revenge

  • It takes a strong person to be truly gentle. 

  • Avoiding arguments, resentments and grudges 

  • Be compassionate, tolerant and peaceful 

Q. What does"The Lord is at hand"mean?

  • God is always near

  • Remember God is dwelling in our hearts

  • Will soon return 

  • We're not alone and have not been abandoned (Jesus promises to disciples Holy Spirit in dwelling and He we return)

V6

Q. What is anxiety?

  • A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

  • Projecting negatively into the future imagining or expected the worst outcomes 

  • Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, sitting an exam, or having a medical test or interview. 

  • During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. 

  • However, some people find it hard to control their worries. 

  • Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.

  • We can't relax can lead to panic, phobias and others psychological conditions that can affect our physical health

  • Teeth grinding or clenching

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Sleeplessness 

  • Heart palpitations 

  • Can can be caused by stress and lead to depression which can lead to suicidal thoughts 

Q. According to this verse how do we eliminate or reduce anxiety? (V6)

  • Bring every situation and circumstance bothering you to God in prayer

  • To worry less we need to pray more 

  • Tell Him and then thank Him

V7

Q. What is"Peace of God" and how do we experience it in our lives?

  • Differs from the world's peace 

  • Not about the absence of conflict

  • Peace is a state of tranquility or quietness of spirit that transcends circumstances. 

  • The term peace is described in Scripture as a gift from God 

  • Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

  • Peace is part of God's character. Jesus prince of peace 

  • Walking in peace, adopting peaceful thinking guards our hearts from anxiety 

  • We get this by drawing closer to God and asking Him and thanking Him for this gift 

V8

Q. What is meditation? What meditation is not.

  • Trying to experience truth, peace, or being that is “inexpressible” 

  • Trying to “experience” God or receive divine revelation from Him

  • A worldly view attempting to empty the mind so as to receive truth within meditation, Hinduism, Buddhism, Eastern mysticism)

 

What meditation is for us Christians:

  • Contemplating “truth” and reality already revealed

  • Nourishing ourselves by focusing our mind on God Himself, His works, His revealed Word and His will

  • Think continually, centre your mind on these things, implant them in your heart

Q. Why should we meditate?

  • It brings joy, peace, strength and transformation Psalm 1: 1-2, Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed...transformed by...mind"

  • What we put in our mind comes out in our words and actions 

  • The following things can influence our mind films, TV, magazines, books, conversations, text messages positively or negatively depending on the content if the message 

  • We can program our minds to think positively 

  • Puts us in a better relationship with God by making our thoughts more pleasing and acceptable 

  • Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” 

Q. How do we meditate?

  • Through the power of positive affirmations, by meditating on the word and on the right things

  • Replacing negative thoughts (self talk) moving from self harm to self care

  • Doing it all the time Ps 1 says Day and night

  • It takes awareness, willingness and practice 

 

V9

Q. Do you remember what the message was last week? What have you done differently or changed? How has it influenced you? 

  • When we come to church it's not enough to hear/listen to the word, or read it, know it well or even teach it

  • Receiving, reading, researching, remembering, and reflecting on the Word of God are all useless if we fail to put them into practice. 

  • We need to apply it/ put it into practice in our daily lives

  • Make notes and then meditate on or write about what it means, how it applies to you and the way forward

  • James 1:22-24 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 

  • Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24 NIV)

  • Jesus also pointed out that God’s blessing comes from obeying the truth, not just knowing it. He said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them”(John 13:17).

But...

  • We need to willing to change 

  • If you hear the word and think it applies to someone else (who needs to change) there's a problem. 

  • We are not being honest with ourselves. 

  • We need to ask God to search us  and reveal where we need to change 

  • When we apply the word the God of peace and well being will be with us

  • That's a promise!

  • Amen!

Recap the 10 ways we can achieve positive mental health and well being:

  1. Stand firm/focus on God/resist temptation 

  2. Make amends/ help others to do the same (ministry of reconciliation) focus not only on our growth but on the growth of others = become a transformational church 

  3. Rejoice (true happiness is joy and that is looking for God in every situation)

  4. Adopt a gentle spirit 

  5. Remember God is near

  6. Don't worry or be anxious 

  7. Tell God and thank God 

  8. Pray for God's peace to guard our hearts and mind

  9. Meditate on God and His word 

  10. Apply (practice it) the word in our daily lives and allow it to change us (change is inevitable e.g eat and practice word the caterpillar will emerge as a butterfly 



 

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